A comparison of water diffusion in human erythrocytes and ghosts revealed a longer relaxation time in ghosts, A comparison of water diffusion in human erythrocytes and ghosts revealed a longer relaxation time in ghosts, corresponding to a decreased exchange rate. However, the diffusional permeability of ghosts was not significantly different from that of erythrocytes. The changes in water diffusion following exposure to p-chloromercuribenzene sulfonate (PCMBS) have been studied on ghosts suspended in isotonic solutions. It was found that a significant inhibitory effect of PCMBS on water diffusion occurred only after several minutes of incubation at 37°C. No inhibition was noticed after short incubation at 0°C as previously used in some labelling experiments. This indicates the location in the membrane interior of the SH groups involved in water diffusion across human erythrocyte membranes. The nuclear magnetic resonance (n. m. r.) method appears as a useful tool for studying changes in water diffusiofl in erythrocyte ghosts with the aim of locating the water channel.

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